News: Alabama National Guard’s 1st of the 167th Infantry Battalion returns to US after nine-month Afghanistan deployment
Story by Maj. Michael Tomberlin
CAMP SHELBY, Miss. – The Alabama National Guard’s 1st of the 167th Infantry Battalion, the “Fourth Alabama,” returned to the U.S. today after a nine-month mission that saw its nearly 600 soldiers operate throughout Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Two separate flights returned the soldiers to Gulfport, Miss., where they had departed in August 2012 to begin the security force mission in support of NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan.
Brig. Gen. C. Lynn Gable, commander of the Alabama National Guard’s 62nd Troop Command, greeted “Fourth Alabama” soldiers as they got off their airplanes and stepped foot once again in the U.S.
Lt. Col. J.R. Bass, commander of the 1st of the 167th, returned on the first flight but remained to greet the soldiers on the second flight.
Many family members, friends and loved ones were at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center to welcome the soldiers back, even though the reunion only lasted for a couple of hours before the soldiers had to be about the business of completing redeployment requirements.
The 1st of the 167th operated for the last nine months throughout Afghanistan as Task Force Centurion Prime where it was charged with providing personal security and maneuver in support of NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, to include senior leaders, top officials, trainers, advisers and inspectors.
The Alabama National Guard soldiers operated in all six Afghanistan Regional Support Commands in 14 separate locations.
The battalion’s seven companies played a vital role in the overall mission of NTM-A and the International Security Assistance Force as they move towards handing control of security for the country over to the Afghan National Security Forces.
The “Fourth Alabama” made up the single largest entity of NTM-A and enabled the training and transition of security to Afghan forces, which is set to be completed by the end of 2014.
During the nine months, the battalion completed more than 12,000 missions, safely transported nearly 43,000 personnel and traveled more than 142,648 sometimes treacherous and unsecured miles throughout Afghanistan.
The “Fourth Alabama” had 190 soldiers earn their Combat Infantryman Badge, 56 their Combat Action Badge and one their Combat Medic Badge because of their run-ins with insurgent forces during this deployment.
Four 167th Infantry soldiers received the Purple Heart because of injuries suffered during those enemy engagements. The battalion experienced multiple small-arms fire attacks, three improvised explosive device attacks, multiple indirect fire attacks and a suicide bomber attack.
The soldiers of the 1st of the 167th Infantry Battalion must now complete demobilization at the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center before returning back home to Alabama.
A series of public “welcome home” events are being scheduled for the companies with details to follow. The “Fourth Alabama” has units based in Talladega, Valley, Anniston, Pelham, Cullman, Sylacauga and Oxford.
More information can also be found at the “Fourth Alabama” deployment Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TaskForceCenturion
This work, Alabama National Guard’s 1st of the 167th Infantry Battalion returns to US after nine-month Afghanistan deployment, by MAJ Michael Tomberlin, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.
Date Posted:05.08.2013 21:26
Location:CAMP SHELBY, MS, US
Hometown:ANNISTON, AL, US
Hometown:CULLMAN, AL, US
Hometown:OXFORD, AL, US
Hometown:PELHAM, AL, US
Hometown:SYLACAUGA, AL, US
Hometown:TALLADEGA, AL, US
Hometown:VALLEY, AL, US